National

Mar 3, 2010 5:40 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Rangel steps aside as Ways and Means chairman

Veteran House Democrat Pete Stark of California is the new acting chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee -- now that Charles Rangel of New York is stepping aside, at least temporarily.

Rangel is facing a wide-ranging ethics investigation, and said he didn't want his problems to hurt the election chances of his fellow Democrats.

Ethics investigators are looking into his use of his official position to raise money for a New York college center to be named after him. They're also looking at his belated disclosure of at least hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets and his use of rent-controlled apartments in New York.

Last Friday, the House ethics panel released a report accusing him of violating House gift rules in connection with a series of trips he took to the Caribbean.

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